France, Germany to back Ukraine pact despite Dutch 'No': Hollande

French President Francois Hollande (R) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel attend a meeting prior to a Frenco-German cabinet meeting in Metz, eastern France, April 7, 2016. REUTERS/Thibault Camus/Pool

METZ, France (Reuters) - France and Germany will continue to back an EU agreement on closer ties with Ukraine, French President Francois Hollande said on Thursday after Dutch voters rejected the pact in a referendum.

“As far as Europe is concerned, it will implement what it can of the association (agreement),” Hollande told a news conference after a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Metz eastern France.

“As far as France and Germany, we will continue to support Ukraine and apply the association agreement in our respective countries,” he added.

Reporting by Elizabeth Pineau; writing by Leigh Thomas; editing by John Irish